What Happens When You Grow More Produce Than You Can Eat? Well, Give It Away Of Course!
GROW FREE is a project started by Andrew Barker, from Victoria, Australia, who – by the way, also happens to be a writer here at Collective Evolution! This project was started with Andrew’s vision of a community where locally grown food is shared with one another... for free! This project involves setting up carts around the city and offering any kind of food, but generally locally grown produce, to anyone who might need it, or just want it. Not everyone grows the same crops, so it’s a good opportunity for neighbours to share the fruits of their labour with one another, and with those who don’t have the means to have their own gardens. As Andrew says: “The carts are a medium where people of the community can share with one another, they’re for excess homegrown produce, seeds and seedlings, preserves, eggs, etc.
They’re a great way for people to give back, to show that they care about others and this community. Being that we don’t really get to see who picks up what we put down on them, there’s also a spiritual element to them; a way to serve the community without need for reciprocation or acknowledgement.” Earlier this year there were only four carts and now there are 13 carts all around the region. Andrew believes that before long there will be at least one cart in every town in Southern Australia and hopefully as this idea spreads, all around the world. “By giving to one another, we’re creating the community/world we’d like to live in, where money isn’t an object, and people aren’t held to ransom by needing to work just to survive. We realize it might not come to fruition in our lifetime, but we can set up future generations for an abundant life. Society is malleable, and we all have the power to make change, no matter how small or big.” The Grow Free community group also gives out free heirloom seedlings for veggies, herbs, and flowers, which help others to set up and start their own gardens, hold free workshops, and even cook for those in need at the local Salvation Army. Andrew’s passion for organic, locally grown produce comes from when he worked on a farm, and what they ate was what they grew. He says: “A big light bulb moment for me was living on this farm, which we didn’t really leave for a long time, and when I went into a supermarket the food there appeared nutritionally deficient and sterile.
There’s a big difference in how it (organic food) tastes and how it makes you feel.” Of course giving out free food and services to others is a tremendous act of kindness, generosity, and compassion, but as Andrew says, this project is about more than just free food. It’s about living closer to the truth and the idea of oneness and treating others as ourselves. This project has a spiritual element to it: it assists all those involved with finding divine union with spirit by relinquishing their own desires and needs and putting “others” first. Andrew says, it’s Karma Yoga to him. This project is creating the type of culture that we want to live in, by-passing that which is going wrong and focusing on giving what we can. Evolving from the old ways of thinking, not needing to protest or oppose anything, just start creating the new and making the change yourself. This project is about Being the change you wish to see. Andrew believes that as this project continues to grow it will inevitably make grocery stores, city council, and even government obsolete. Because what we really need in order to survive is just food water and shelter. Love, compassion and kindness don’t hurt either! Do you have a garden full of produce? If you do, chances are you aren’t able to eat and even give away all of it to your friends and family, so why not make it available to anyone who needs it? You can contact your local health food stores and find out if you can put a cart there for free produce, seeds, and anything else you would like to contribute.
The amazing thing you’ll see is that over time, other people will begin to anonymously donate food as well, and then more and more carts will start to pop up. This is similar to the Little Free Library project, where anyone can set up a little shelf or box with free books. People passing by are free to take a book or leave a book if they wish. This is an ongoing book exchange and no one is expecting anything in return. It is just happening because people inherently want to give and share information with one another.
There are so many people doing great acts of kindness in the word that go unnoticed. Share this story to spread the positivity, show people that the world isn’t all-bad and share the love! For more information consider joining the GROW FREE Facebook page. Much Love .
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